Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Got Plans Tomorrow Night?

If so, cancel them and go see one amazing singer/songwriter: Christine Havrilla. She's not only a great friend, but we also recently collaborated on an original song for the short film Patty and I are doing. The song is called Hightail and you can buy it HERE.

Havrilla will be at Mississippi Pizza's Atlantis Lounge tomorrow night from 6-8pm with special guests The Ragged Word.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Come Be a Part of Til Death Do Us Toby!


We are coming to town this week to film a portion of the short film Til Death Do Us Toby and want YOU to be a part of it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010
5 - 6pm
Laurelhurst Park*

*meet at the bathroom area (click on map embedded here)

We will be filming Christine Havrilla singing a song called Hightail, co-written by Gina Daggett and Patricia McKenny. With her jammin' acoustic guitar, we are going to film Havrilla in front of all of you, who will sing along with the chorus, which is super duper catchy...

Gotta break free
Gotta survive
Gotta find a way to stay alive

I just wanna run
I just wanna scream
I just wanna hightail out of this dream

What is this Til Death Do Us Toby movie anyway?

It's a short film about a girl named Sam and a neurotic dog named Toby, who are both trying to find freedom. In Sam's case, she's trying to break free from her controlling mother, Mimi, who doesn't like Sam's best friend who's quite the edgy dyke. In Toby's case, he misunderstands a conversation between Mimi and Sam and thinks they're out to kill him, so he's just trying to hightail out of electric chair (aka their house).


It's going to be a ton of fun and won't take up a bunch of time, so come on out and be in the short film, which will be making the queer festival rounds next year. Lipstick would be forever grateful!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lesbian Wins Pulitzer Prize

The 2010 Pulitizer prizes were announced today. As I was reading through the list, I came across a familiar name. I interviewed Jennifer Higdon years ago for an article in Curve magazine. Now she won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for her "Violin Concerto." I remember that she was very charming and had a sweet Southern accent.

Here is the article I wrote for Curve magazine back in 2004. I think it might have been my first article for them.
Classical Composure
By Kathy Belge

Jennifer Higdon’s partner had a premonition something big was about to happen. In a vivid dream, an older woman came to Cheryl Lawson and said, “Do you realize your life is about to change?” A few weeks later in June, 2002, Higdon’s Concerto for Orchestra premiered at the Philadelphia Orchestra. The work was received with a level of enthusiasm rare in the classical music world, complete with hoots and whistles. Even Higdon is puzzled by the reception to her work. “I’m still kind of scratching my head and going, ‘Wow’,” she says.

Concerto for Orchestra has been performed nine times since its premiere, quite a feat. “It’s very, very, very, very unusual,” Higdon says. “I mean, in the history of music. Normally a piece will have to be out a long time before people will start picking it up.”

Higdon herself is quite an anomaly, too. The girl from Tennessee didn’t even pick up an instrument until high school. While most of her contemporaries were weaned on the likes of Tchaikovsky and Bach, Higdon grew up listening to The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac. Which could also be why her music is so accessible.

For all of her accomplishments, Higdon is equally accessible. I caught up with her when, iced in from a winter storm, she had to make a stop on her way to a concert in Eugene, Oregon. Her southern accent, peppered with words like gee and gosh, made me feel as if we could just sit down and chat about anything. Her enthusiasm for her work bubbles out and it’s easy to understand why she is one of the most popular teachers at the prestigious Curtis Institute, where she teaches composition. “I feel very lucky to be there,” she says. “It’s like a family. It’s very small and everyone knows everyone. It’s not a dysfunctional family,” she laughs.

Though Higdon may have been the black sheep in her family of origin, she certainly has found a home in Philadelphia, where she and her partner Lawson can often be found walking down the street hand in hand, attending concerts or going to movies. She said it never occurred to her not to be out and so far it has not hurt her career at all. “Maybe it’s because classical music has a real history with gay male composers,” she says. But, she notes, “there aren’t that many lesbian classical composers.”
And she is well aware that she is a role model for other women in a field dominated by men. “I know that women who came before me had a really rough time and a lot of them paved the way for people like me,” she says. “Little old ladies come and say, ‘Honey, I love that you’re a woman.’”

Today Higdon and Lawson, a professional meeting planner, spend a lot of time on the road traveling to music festivals and performances. More and more, Higdon is being recognized as a celebrity. People come up to her on the street and in restaurants. “It startles me,” she says.

This summer, on their way to a Vail music festival, a woman sat next to Higdon and Lawson on an airplane and started telling them of an interview she heard on the radio about a new classical piece called blue cathedral. When Lawson pointed out that she was sitting next to the woman in the interview, “The lady completely freaked out,” Higdon says. “It was really, really funny.”

Much of Higdon’s writing takes place in hotel rooms these days. There’s a variety to her work that she loves, everything from commissions for the Atlanta Symphony to a junior high school band.

At age 41, Higdon’s accomplishments seem astounding. Last year she wrote commissions for The Brooklyn Philharmonic, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony. She was the first female composer in residence at Tanglewood. And she’s been with her partner for 23 years. Yes, they met in high school band.

The two love to travel. A few months back they were driving along the back roads of Georgia when, “We actually ran across the little bitty town and the little bitty street of Fried Green Tomatoes. … The café is still there. We had a piece of pie.”
But the big news these days is the release of her CD by Telarc last March. The Atlanta Symphony recorded Concerto for Orchestra and Cityscape, a 30-minute symphony she wrote about Atlanta, a town where she once lived. “I have to say, I was quite blown away by [the recording],” she says. “The conductor Robert Spano did a fabulous job of interpreting the work.”
In addition to her major commissions, Higdon makes time to compose for the community. She wrote Freedom Dreams for the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band in celebration of families of choice. One of its movements, Freedom March, is performed quite often by gay and lesbian bands. These days she writes pretty much what ever she’s commissioned to write. Higdon has no time for writer’s block. As a matter of fact she says, “Sometimes I’m getting the brochure in the mail and it says ‘Announcing a premiere work by Jennifer Higdon’ and I haven’t even started it yet. You definitely have to get that kind of thing going very fast.”

Where does she get her inspiration? “Most of my inspiration come from thinking about the groups I’m writing for,” she says. But, coming from a family of visual artists seems to influence her as well. “There’s a really strong image in my head of something to look at when I’m writing,” she says. “It inspires the music. There’s almost always a graphic picture in my head.”

As for the future, Higdon, a self-described movie buff, hopes one day to compose for the big screen. “I figure if it’s supposed to happen it will on its own accord,” she says. And with her you get the feeling it will.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Indigo Girls in Vancouver

I spent last night basking in the Indiglo at the Commodore Theater. Amy and Emily from the Indigo Girls rolled through town and put on an amazing show. Bitch opened for them and came out and sang several songs with the iconic dykes, who haven't changed a lick.

They sang some of my favorites: Ghost, Power of Two, Galileo, Get Out the Map, Closer to Fine. My voice is all Kathleen Turner this morning because I sang so hard.We rocked out all night and had a fantastic time with our some of our favorite people--Jessill (Jess + Jill), Judith (hipster aunt), Sarah (lil weenis) and Katherine (artsy fart).

The music never dies! Enjoy the song below, lifted from YouTube...Add Image

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Help Our Friend, Dawnie

A beloved friend of ours, Dawnie Grubstein, is battling colon cancer. She is the brightest spirit you'll ever meet and I know that if anyone can beat this, it's Dawnie. Truly an effervescent soul.
Her best friend, Luna Jaffe, wrote a song for her and uploaded it to CDBaby. You can download it and the proceeds go to Dawnie. It's called "You'll Find Your Way."

Check out and buy it today to support Dawnie!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lady Gaga & Beyonce: Telephone

If you haven't seen this yet, it's worth watching. Hot! You've been a very bad girl Gaga! This is about the gayest thing I've seen in a long time. Parts of it made me laugh out loud. And of course, I love the Thelma & Louise reference at the end. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

That's What She Said

Lipstick & I saw some amazing talent on the Sweet Cruise. One of my favorites That's What She Said. That’s What She Said is a mad musical bouquet of imaginative, comic songs about lesbians. My favorite, was the U-Haul Song.

Their show is a benefit for Jeff Bader who needs help to finance in-home care as he lives with ALS.

Saturday, December 12, 2009
8:00pm - 11:00pm
Q Center
4115 N mississippi Ave

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ashleigh Flynn Shows Cancelled!

Hey everyone
Sadly, Ashleigh has had to cancel her shows this week. Her blanket email said:

Very sorry to any who planned to come out to our shows!

Flynn got in a bike wreck and has a separated shoulder....cant play the guitar for awhile which has her singing only the blues, and acapella at that...

Hurry and get better Ashleigh!!!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ashleigh Flynn in Vancouver

After we heard Sarah Waters speak, Patty and I headed out on the town to hear our friend Ashleigh Flynn perform at The Media Club. She opened for the Wood Brothers, who were also really great. Think Jackson Brown meets Neil Young with a double base.

It was fun to see Ashleigh in our hood and we had way too much fun. I *was* able to video at the Media Room, so I thought you'd all enjoy her song "American Dream," which is the title of her latest CD. If you don't have it, go get her music! She's awesome!

* I didn't have Flynn in a fierce neck hold here--she could breathe, I promise--but a loving hug.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Great Live Music This Weekend in Portland, Seattle + Vancouver, BC

It's a great weekend for music in Cascadia! First, you Seattle-ites will enjoy this little treat: Christine Havrilla is back! She will be performing on Friday night in Seattle at the Sunset Tavern with Camille Bloom.

Saturday night, she and Bloom zip down to Portland for a gig at the Alberta Street Pub. Here are the details:
Fri 10/23 7:00 pm
Sunset Tavern
5433 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA
Tune in online at

Sat 10/24 7:00 pm
Alberta Street Public House
1036 NE Alberta St. Portland, OR

Next, for you Canadians: Ashleigh Flynn will be opening for the Wood Brothers in Vancouver on Saturday!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
695 Cambie St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 608-2871

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ashleigh Flynn :: Upcoming Shows

Our favorite Americana star, Ashleigh Flynn, is burning up the guitar strings and the road. Ashleigh Flynn will be on NPR West Virginia this afternoon live playing from the Mountain Stage with Nanci Griffith and Todd Snider. At 3pm EST, click on this link to hear the show.

If you miss it, it will be available in the archives after Oct. 3.

Also, Ash is hitting the trail with The Wood Brothers. The show dates and locations are below.

Check out our favorite Americana supah stah.

10/20/2009 Stillwater | Ashland, OR | 8:30 PM
10/21/2009 Wonder Ballroom | Portland, OR | 8:00 PM

10/22/2009 Knitting Factory | Spokane, WA | 8:30 PM

10/23/2009 The Tractor Tavern | Seattle, WA | 9:30 PM

10/24/2009 Media Club
| Vancouver, BC | 7:30 PM

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Speaking of Seeing Celebs in Vancouver

I also brushed shoulders with Sarah McLachlan a few weeks ago in Yaletown. She was humming a song and we walked passed one another on a tight sidewalk. Since then, I've been hoping what she was humming was off a new album she's working on (fingers crossed--there hasn't been very much new stuff in years.)

Sarah just put on a charity concert here in Vancouver called Summer Sessions last week for her charity--The Sarah McLachlan Foundation, which raises money for music for kids in the inner-city. The concert was set on the shores of the English Bay at sunset in West Vancouver, just ten blocks from her house (she told the crowd). Neil Young and Sheryl Crow joined her at Ambleside Park.

If you've missed her music as much as I have, here are two little morsels to chew on today...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ellen to Replace Paula on American Idol

There is a god and she's listening!

I don't know how many American Idol fans are out there, but I suspect, there are soon to be many more lesbians. It was announced yesterday that Ellen Degeneres will take Paula Abdul's seat on the American Idol panel for the upcoming season of American Idol. She will join Randy Jackson, the delicious and ridiculously talented songwriter Kara Dioguardi and Simon "Scowl."

I heard this on CNN right before I went to bed last night and dreamt of rainbows and butterflies. Apparently, she Tweeted the news. Of her new gig, Ellen told People Magazine:

"I'm going to have a day job and a night job," DeGeneres said at her talk show taping Wednesday, assuring her audience that The Ellen DeGeneres Show will continue. "This is so exciting for me."

*Photo from American Idol media

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good Music at Mississippi Pizza This Wednesday

Hi Ya'll

My super-fly friend Christine Havrilla will be rocking out Mississippi Pizza on Wednesday. Hop on your bikes and head over to Mississippi to catch the show!

Mississippi Pizza + Pub (3552 N. Mississippi, Portland, OR
Wedensday, August 5th
Mississippi Website

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lesbians Under the Stars

What could be more lesbian than going to see the Indigo Girls at the zoo? With a bunch of friends, blankets under our arms and munchies to share, Tiger and I trekked up to the Portland Zoo to see my all-time favorite band.

The Indigo Girls just make me happy. And seeing them perform, outside on a beautiful summer evening with lots of cool people around, I don't think there's anything better. Well, one thing could make it better, the amazingly talented and incredibly hot Julie Wolf on keyboards.

Sandy got there early, so we had awesome seats. That's when we were in them, because most of the time we were smashed up against the stage, singing along at the top of our lungs. We know the words to practically every song.

A friend of mine was having a jolly time, blowing bubbles in time to the music. Then this big dyke security guard came up and told her she had to stop. "It's bad for the elephants," she said. What a great to get lesbians to stop doing something, tell them an animal will be harmed.

If you've never seen the Indigo Girls live in concert. You must. It's a lesbian rite-of-passage.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Amazing Gift

A few weeks ago I got an email from Tam Martin, “Kathy, I have something I would like to give you…if you want it.” Now who can resist an intriguing message like that?

Tam is an old friend, a mentor and a booking agent to the stars. She works with Suzanne Westenhoefer, Kate Clinton, Holly Near and many of the greats of women’s music. Back when I was a baby dyke, Tam gave me advice on producing concerts and booking tours. She hired me to work at her festivals and even gave Lipstick & I advice about hiring an agent for booking speaking gigs. She is a treasure to the lesbian community.

I called Tam to see what she wanted to give me, having no idea what she had in mind. Well, it turns out, she and her partner are moving to a smaller house and she’s got a lot of women’s music memorabilia she needs to find a good home for. She thought (rightly so!) that I would like her autographed copy of the Laughing Matters poster.

When I showed up to collect the poster, she had an even bigger surprise for me. She asked if I had any way to play LPs. Sadly, I do not. I don’t even own a CD player any more. Tam is looking for a home for her collection of Women’s Music albums.

Even though I don’t have a record player, I have been searching for one particular lesbian album for years. Back in 1977 Olivia records released Lesbian Concentrate, in response to an anti-gay rights campaign in Florida, spearheaded by orange juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant. Tam had it and offered it to me. Although I don't have the means to play it, just owning this piece of lesbian history makes me smile.

The poster is hanging in my office. The album cover, I'm going to get that framed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Maxwell Rocks the House

Well, technically, Maxwell actually "grooved" the house, who was on their feet for many of his sexy soulful ballads. I surprised Patty with tickets to our favorite neo-soul lyrical love hound earlier this week.

Born Maxwell Rivera, "Maxwell" was awesome Wed night as he old favorites like "Til the Cops Come Knockin'" and "Sumthin Sumthin", while also mixing it up with new tunes from his new trilogy of music, set to drop 7/7/09.

For years, rumors have swirled about Maxwell's sexuality. He has been MIA from the music scene for the last seven years and--again the rumor mill reports--it's because his new songs were loaded with gay lovin' and his primary fan base is women, and very straight women who want to tear his clothes off. I can report, now after seeing him in person, that I do in fact believe he plays for our team. Gaydar a dingin'.

Another fantastic part of the night was his opening act: Laura Izibor. I'd never heard of her and damn was she amazing. I took the little video before getting busted by the security, but it wasn't very good, so head to her website to see one. If you like Alicia Keys, be sure to check out her out on iTunes. I did manage to snap a shot at he end of the band.

I also tried to sneak one of Maxwell while he sang "Til the Cops Come Knockin'" but it was awful, too, and only seven seconds. I embedded his video of that song below.

To find tour dates in the US, check Maxwell's MySpace.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Canadians :: Check Out Bonnie Ste. Croix

My friend, lezzilicious Bonnie Ste. Croix, will be touring Canada this month and into July, so I wanted to give peeps a heads up for her upcoming shows. If you're in eastern Canada, check her out!

Thursday, June 24th, 2009
76 Murray St. Ottawa. (Murray St. & Parent St. in The Byward Market) PH:(613) 241-5123

Sunday June 28th, 2009
602-A Boul. Cure Labelle, Chomedy (Laval) PH:450-686-8388
Please try your best to CALL AHEAD and reserve for this one!!! The owner's are requesting this so they can be prepared for meals etc.

July 9
Fredericton, NB
Crumbs Café. 551 King St. PH: (506) 472-8106

July 10
St-Andrews, NB
Kennedy Inn. 218 Water St. PH: (506) 529-8844

July 11
Rothesay, NB
Sessions Café. 8PM. 140G Hampton Road. PH: (506)-847-1321

July 14
Tyne Valley, PEI
Britannia Hall. 7:30 PM Opening for "Lazy Jacks"

July 15
Breadalbane. PEI
The Dunk. 3864 Dixon Road.

July 16
Charlottetown. PEI
Summer Concert Series at Peakes Quay.

July 17
Halifax. NS
The Company House. 2202 Gottingen St.

July 18
Penobsquis. NB Timberland. Route 114 (just outside of Sussex)

July 24
Gaspe JacquesCartier Commemoration Show.

July 26
Gaspe La Petite Eglize, 8 PM, 208 Montee Wakeham

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Christine Havrilla's Show Recap

We had such a great time on Friday at Christine Havrilla's house concert. A big shout out to Heather for hosting the event. The room full of dykes (and two fags for good measure) was wonderfully entertained by Chris' command of music (she plays a mean guitar, writes amazing songs and delivers them powerfully). She sang some of my favorites--Lay it on Me (thanks Rilla!) and Ride.

Apparently, there were some technical difficulties so I don't think the live show aired, but you can hear snippets of Chris' music on iTunes and buy all of her albums. Check her out!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Come Out to See Christine Havrilla or Tune in on Web

Hi Ya'll

My dear friend Christine Havrilla is going to be performing in Portland tomorrow night (Friday, May 29). It is sure to be a great show and Christine will be rocking out all night. If you'd like to attend the house concert, email As of right now, there is still a little bit of room, so RSVP today.

Door open at 7pm
Shows starts at 8pm
$10-15 suggested donation to the artist

If you can't make the show, you can watch it live streaming here: